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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Host Your Own Sync & Share Solution in Amazon VPC

Gladinet Cloud Enterprise was released in 2012. The goal was to help businesses create a self-hosted file sync & share solution (dropbox-like solution) by leveraging business’s own file server and existing Active Directory services.


As more and more customers discussing the use cases with us related to the self-hosted sync and share solution, an important use case shows up - running the Gladinet Cloud Enterprise from within Amazon VPC.


As customers migrating to the cloud, many of them are migrating to “Virtual Private” data centers such as Amazon EC2. They will move their files to Amazon S3 and start Amazon EC2 servers to connect to their data, from within a VPC (Virtual Private Cloud). Basically, the Amazon EC2 servers are like on-premise servers that connect to the company network.


So the interesting idea is: How to make Gladinet Cloud Enterprise run on Amazon EC2 servers?

 
What if the solution itself is a virtual appliance contained inside an Amazon Machine Images (AMIs)?


As a starting point, we are announcing 2 AMI images that are publically available from the Amazon N. Virginia data center.
Gladinet Cloud Enterprise (Single Business) : GCE
Gladinet Cloud Enterprise (Service Provider): GSP
You can get to the images by using the ami id or search for “GCE” or “GSP” or “gladinet” inside the “public images”.

Step 1 – Find the AMI image

From within the Amazon Web Console, under the IMAGES/AMIs, search for GCE or GSP or Gladinet, you will be able to locate the image.

(a) search for “gladinet”, the GCE entry is for Gladinet Cloud Enterprise, single enterprise package. The GSP is for Gladinet Cloud for Service Provider package. The number is the build number such as build 479.

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(b) search for “GCE”
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Step 2 – Launch an EC2 Instance with the AMI

After you find the AMI, you can right click and launch an EC2 instance based on it.
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During the EC2 instance wizard, simply accept the default values.
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You can give it a name for the instance.
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And create a new key pair if you don’t already have one.
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The instance has two drives, drive C and drive D. You will see a root volume and an EBS volume. Both are required for the instance.
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Step 3 – Open the Ports to the Instance

You will config the basic ports for the instance. You will do it from the Security Group. At least you need to open HTTP port (80) and SSL port (443). It is also recommended to open port 8080 and port 8888, in addition to RDP port 3389.
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Step 4 – Configuration

You will point the web browser to the public DNS of the instance to start configuration.
The first step is to put in your user name and password. This user will be the admin user for the Gladinet Cloud Enterprise instance.
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The second step of the configuration is to select the user manager. Usually you can select default user manager. Or if you have Active Directory service ready, you can use it too.
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The third is to select a backend storage. Since this is running from Amazon EC2, it is a natural choice to select Amazon S3 as the backend storage.
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If you select Amazon S3, the next step will be to select a bucket from Amazon S3.
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Step 5 – Done!

It is done. After that, you will be looking at the web browser based file manager, which is showing the contents of your Amazon S3 bucket. You can now proceed to use the Gladinet Cloud team client, Gladinet Cloud team server, Android client and iOS client to connect to your instance of the Gladinet Cloud.  
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